02 October 2009

A Chapter from the great "Bible" of Comics...

Reading this chapter made plenty of sense just had to read the chapter twice! Anyways the chapter being about three of the twelve revolutions. Gender Balance, Minority Representation, and Diversity in Genre. Good points were made in this chapter about all three. Gender Balance meaning that comics together as a whole where made separate not intentionally but just happened by only selling to mainly the male population. This soon began to change in the mid 40's due to WW 2 where men were drafted to fight and women picked up the slack that the men were unavailable to do. Of course this ended when the war ended but began again now later in the years.

Gender Balance another issue that limited comics potential the reason because comics first began to entertain usually to white males. Of course according to McCloud if we begin to let minorities contribute there share into comics, comics would then sprout on to entertain other races besides white people. And Diversity in Genre is a complex matter. The reason is because when comics first came out superheros where the way to go with comics which of course later down on the road began to become slightly dull come now into the 21st century. Dont get me wrong that superhero comics are dull there awsome in my opinion. Its just since superheros and comics went hand in hand it became accociated with one another that even the idea of a superhero lead to comics or in thinking of comics it lead to thinking of superheros. With that said that is why it is difficult to expand into different genres because we know for a fact that superhero comics are the best overall and work well together. Like McCloud says its hard to expand outward when comics defined by the genre they are only existing thanks to superheroes. McCloud uses the idea that if comics as we knew it didnt exist and started anew, Comics would of then been accociated with romance or horror or westerns. But since we dont live in that kind of a world like that we accept with what we have or get to the point were comics might have to "re-invent the wheel" to be able soar into the league of higher arts. but thats might thought.... LONG ENOUGH?

Last of a Dying Breed

Comics have apparently faltered a bit in the last decade since his last book Understanding Comics. Twelve Revolutions starts with the state of emergency that the comic community has been in as of late. McCloud states how he does use comics for fame but to help progress. Of course anybody who states such bold claims have to be telling the truth right? But something happened in a 5 year gap that changed comic books forever. Comics stop selling. I know right something as awesome as a comic not being purchased but it happened! Scott McCloud states that comics basically lost originality and purpose. Comics took a back pedal from being respected as an artform. Scott McCloud says many artists have to come into the genre to give comics something new and refreshing. Comics do not fall in the stereotypes that many people percieve. With all this said the intro to Twelve Revolutions is very very lackluster. To me as an reader I expected a lot more from Scott but how can you top your best writing. Anyways, I felt that this book will probably be very redundant to Understanding Comic. I do not think he was on his A game writing this book. Instead of getting an critical analysis we get confession from Scott McCloud which is okay I guess.
Twelve Revolutions?
The Twelve Revolutions by Scott McCloud talks about where comics are now and where they would like to be in the future. From 1994 to 1998 the demand of comics declined causing many comic book stores to close down. Scott McCloud hopes to turn the comic book medium around by introducing his idea on how comics can reach their full potential. He thinks comics can reach their full potential by focusing on these key components, which are comics as literature, comics as art, creators’ rights, industry innovation, public perception, Institutional scrutiny, gender balance, minority representation, diversity of genre, digital production, digital delivery, and digital comics. Scott McCloud’s solution for comics are for them to “grow outward” (22), instead of move forward. He means that he thinks comic artists should not lose sight of what they have already gained when they are working on other goals. Scott McCloud also thinks artists should create comics for a broader audience, which will help comics branch out into different genres.

I don’t really know what I think about this reading. It was a little boring, but it made me think of all the possibilities comics have in our society today. Our society has a broader view of life and therefore comics have a fighting chance for greatness or to reach their full potential. I feel like in today’s world anything is accepted. I don’t know why comics as a higher form of art wouldn’t be accepted too. I don’t think my generation has experienced prejudice like other generations before us, so I think we are a generation that is more open minded to trying new things and accepting new ideas.

In the old days only the rich were educated, books were few, paintings were a form of higher art, and miniatures were luxuries. When nursery rhymes came about they were intended for adults and had many sexual innuendos, but people would refer to them as children’s books because they thought of them as a lesser medium. I think they just didn’t want others to know that they found pleasure reading books with no serious literature. I think the history of our people being mostly uneducated is why comics were placed with the lesser mediums. I don’t really know…this is just what I was thinking about…

Slowly Fading Away

The Twelve Revolutions first starts off by establishing McCloud’s credibility in comics. McCloud has been making comics for fifteen years. He explains how he isn’t using comics to get fame, but instead wants comics to reach its full potential. McCloud discusses that in the eighties, comics were about to come together in a big way. There was a rapid increase in comic book specialty stores and more varied and large supply of comics on its shelves. Sales and innovation were up and the public image was up. Although, from 1994 to 1998 a large number of American comic book retailers shut down. Too much of the comic’s growth had been built on considering comics to be a collectors item. Many fans abandoned comics because of there bad experience and peoples hope’s were misplaced. Scott McCloud gives us nine ideas that were common but few objected to, and worked hard to achieve: 1)Comics as Literature 2) Comics as Art 3)Creators Rights 4)Industry Innovation 5)Public Perception 6)Institutional Scrutiny 7)Gender Balance 8)Minority Representation 9)Diversity of Genre . Scott McCloud explains that from 1984 to 1994 did in fact show progress in most of these ideas. Creator ownership and control made impressive strides. Comics even gained the distinctive quality of coolness, but wasn’t able to spread it with anyone. Scott McCloud says that there is a lot more ideas out there ready to be found, but if the business of comics doesn’t improve, these new ideas will never be discovered. McCloud states that America is one of the constant innovation and no matter what the state of comics is at the end of the century, the next generation wont rest. He also adds that the revolutions in comics have rarely been the product of centrally planned group efforts. There are usually one to two people who get involved in comics then the group tends to grow as others join one at a time. McCloud believes that in order for comics to reach its full potential as an art form and market, comics must expand its territory, by going into many different areas and not losing sight of what we accomplished in the past. The second half of the book talks about three new revolutions that all deal with computers which is Digital Production, Digital Delivery, and Digital Comics. McCloud says that the twelve directions that comics can grow are definitely a potential for anyone of these factors to change comics.

I thought that this reading was a little difficult to read. I thought that some points that he made were interesting, but other than that I thought it was boring. I thought that Understanding Comics was way more interesting and fun to read. It just seems like he goes on and on and on. I think he could definitely get to the point quicker to get his message across. But he did make me feel bad for comics because they had such high expectations and ended up not meeting them. I think that he's desperately trying to persuade more people to support comics because we control whether there is a future for it or not.

Yet Another Peak? Eventually Maybe?

Comics reaching its full potential…that’s the main topic of Scott McCloud’s introduction to the Twelve Revolutions. Will comics always stay in the state of being condemned and pushed aside due to stereotypical opinions? Or is this a nonpermanent condition? McCloud’s comics, at least his own, weren’t meant to be put in plastic bags, traded for action cards, or to be the “stepping stone” to getting him into Hollywood or to huge fame. His comics are meant for the sole purpose of full potential, both comics’ and his own. And there’s not one genre alone that makes the difference in comics. Each and every sort play a tremendous role in their overall stereotype and make, each “a piece of the puzzle” as Mr. Scott McCloud put it. Artists started to branch out, making comics which would reach every aspect of life. Some were fictional, leaving imagination for just how strong superheroes actually were, while others discussed topics that their readers could actually relate to. From the mid 1980’s to the mid 1990’s, McCloud’s first ten years of creating comics, they were quite popular, all genres included. But that time, instead of being just the beginning, was in fact “the peak” of these strips. Over the next four years (’94-’98), retailers began to shut down, which put a lot of creators and artists out of business. Although the goals of comics wasn’t always the same, some general ideas were indeed agreed upon: 1.) Comics can be and are a form of literature, 2.) Comics contain art just as significant as would be the “Mona Lisa” or a statue of Saint Anthony, 3.) The creators have the control, 4.) Comics contribute to both the producer and the customer, 5.) Progress in comics should be recognized as it is made, for one day they could meet their true, full potential, 6.) Comics can be treated equally, 7.) Comics are not only made and appealing to males, 8.) Comics do not only intrigue Caucasian males 9.) Comics have the capability of going anywhere, reaching any aspect of this world, going beyond the typical genres of adolescence and power fantasies.

I thought it was pretty cool how McCloud kept himself the same as far as artwork in this book. I can also see how he has the opinion that as comics begin to reach their full potential, which they can and will, he himself will begin to reach his own. A lot of lessons were taught and learned by those in the comic industry as they have witnessed both the rises and peaks. This intro could have been a chapter in his old book, considering it discussed the same issue of comics not getting enough recognition and respect.

Comics Great Depression

In the introduction to "The Twelve Revolutions", McCloud starts off by letting us know his perspective on comics and that he is loyal to them because he doesn't exclude all but a specific genre of comics or make them so he can make it to the movies or TV, but that he loves comics and he wants them to reach their full potential. When he began making comics, sales were at their best and comics were doing great but they soon went down hill. Comics book storres started closing and many people gave up and moved on from them. Then McCloud tells about the goals that all comic creators tried to achieve which included making comics worthy of study and literature, the art to achieve the heights like of paintings or sculpture, creators rights, the business of comics improve, change the publics perception of comics, institutes of higher learning to change the prejudice of comics as being childish, make comics appeal to females just as much as males, be created by more that white males, and make comics reach all genres and not just super heros. All these did improve but in the mid-90's it left all of these goals "starved for ammunition". Now at days comics are losing out on talented creators and readers because people have moved on from comics as a pass time. But where there's a will, there's a way. New artist still helped fuel the revolution! Comics need to be made broader and appeal to diffferent kinds of people. McCloud invisions a future for comics that appeals to "all quarters of society".
Wow! I've felt as passionate about anything in my life as McCloud does for comics. He lives for this stuff. I hope one day the revolution of comics will achieve all the things that the creators want to achieve and McCloud can live happily ever after. But I don't think that will happen anytime soon . The economy is in a slump and i don't we should be too concerned about the future of comics. Unless it will get us out of this slump. Probably not.

The Twelve Revolutions: Intro

I kind of liked our reading of The Twelve Revolutions, by Scott McCloud. He basically talks about how Comics at one time were really prospering. However, this was due to elements that would later hold back Comics from becoming what they truelly should be. As Comics began to grow and seem to be taking off, they were really, "peaking" or getting to the highest level that the medium would get to (McCloud 9). As this happened the explotion of diversity in Comics died out because of the lack of interest by consumers. This led to Comics falling out of being or becoming a mainstream medium.

So McCloud basically states all that should be a part or piece of, "comics", which are the Twelve Revolutions." If this is done then Comics shoudl thrive and prosper again. However, McCloud says that getting Comics to become a thriving medium must be done a certain way. He says that Comics don't really need to chnage, but need to adapt and consume other ideas to create new genres. MCloud says this in, " The Challenge is not to move foward, but to grow outward.

I really liked this readign, it was kind of confusing, but for the most part i think i got a handle on it. I thought this reading was a lot easier comprehend then most of, "Understanding Comics." It also explained some things that i was left questioning about Understandign Comics. Such as a litttle bit more detail about the past o f Comics.

This too, Shall Past.

The thought of reading another Scott McCloud chapter made me want to faint. The assignment giving on Introduction: The twelve Revolutions by Scott McCloud, was actually not that bad. Although I'm still not a huge fan of all his writings. I felt like he was saying the same thing over and over again, but I did have an open mind. It was a decent chapter, explaining more in depth about comics.

It seems like comics go through a cycle, raising and falling, reinvented and then is lost in what should happen next. Scott McCould describes nine important steps in comics. "One-Comics as Literature, Two-Comics as Art, Three-Creators' Rights, Four-Industry Innovation, Five-Public Perception, Six-Institutional Scrutiny, Seven-Gander Balance, Eight-Minority Representation, Nine-Diversity of Genre" (11). Over the years starting when comics were first issued there has been a huge progress in these areas through out decades.

There were many different types of artist's and writers, and all with different type of success. The ways they decided to write and put their art together was all very unique in some way. Many comic legends began their paths on a comic ladder only to find that there journey was cut a bit short and had to face the down fall.

Beginning in the 90's comics has been making its way back up into society. Instead of comics being just a simple thing, Scott McCloud hopes that comics can be appreciated for their compelling genres. Comics too, shall have there purpose in this world.

01 October 2009

McCloud's Revolutions, BORING!!!

In McCloud's "Introduction The Twelve Revolutions" was much different from the "Understanding Comics" book he had written before. So in this little section of his book I have been blown away by bore dumb. He talks about these nine revolutions that have not been used recently. The first is Comics as Literature, "That comics can yield a body of work worthy of study and meaningfully represent the life, times and world-view of its author"(McCloud 12). Second is Comics as Art, "That comics' formal artistic properties might be recognized as capable of achieving the same heights as forms like painting or sculpture"(McCloud 13). The third on is Creators' Rights, "That comics creators might gain more control over the fate of their creations and a fair financial stake in them" (McCloud 13). Fourth is Industry Innovation, "That the business of comics might be reinvented so as to better serve producer and consumer alike" (McCloud 13). The fifth was Public Perception, "That the public perception of comics could be improved to at least acknowledge the potential of the form and be prepared to recognize progress when it occurs" (McCloud 13). Sixth is Institutional Scrutiny, "That institutions of higher learning and the law could overcome popular prejudice and treat comics with even hands" (McCloud 13). The seventh one is Gender Balance, "That comics could appeal to more than just boys and be made by more than just men" (McCloud 13). The eighth one was Minority Representation, "That comics could appeal to and be made by more than just straight white upper-middle class males" (McCloud 13). Finally is Diversity of Genre, "That comics was capable of handling a wide variety of genres, not just adolescent power fantasies" (McCloud 13). McCloud from there just goes on by speaking about the history of comics and what people should be doing in order to not only make comics reach these revolutions. He talks about the new people looking for ideas and art that is different and that can be made to move the comics into the right world. McCloud finally talks about his last revolutions that are rather new. "Digital production: The creation of comics with digital tools. Digital Delivery: The distribution of comics in digital form. Digital Comics: The evolution of comics in a digital environment" (McCloud 22).

This to me was boring as a reader. In this one section he makes me not interested in reading this book. He named everything he was going to talk about in the book in rather to much detail. McCloud needed to save the definitions of these 12 revolutions for each section he was going to talk about them. By doing so McCloud has taken away the curiosity to find out what these revolutions mean. He could have written this whole section as a novel with no pictures what so ever and it would have had the same impact. It involved too much reading and not enough relative pictures to go with what he was saying. Half of the images were just random images that McCloud inserted in the background. I personally wasn't too impressed with what McCloud had done with this piece after reading his "Understanding Comics" book.

More B.S. Scott McCloud!

Scott McCloud never fails to give an in depth look into comics. In his introduction to "The Twelve Revolutions", McCloud talks about how he is a comics loyalist and how he is only drawn to things comics can do. In the world of comics McCloud isn't making comics so they end up on the TV screen or in the movie theatres. Neither is he hoping that one of his comics turns into an action figure or a playing cards that will bring in the cash. The comics business has not been very good lately and certain comics are feeling the pressure. As McCloud writes " The most serious threats to comics faces now are the loss of new talent as viable professionals opportunities dwindle, and the loss of new readers as the visibility of comics as a past time is diminished". This statement expresses the shortage of upcoming comics due to the pressure of finding a high paying job.

Another topic that McCloud talks about the goals that some comics always reach to achieve in the future. The first goal is that comics become more meaningful and have a story worthy of study. It's the fact that comics aren't considered literature, drives McCloud to explain how comics could eventually be in the same playing field as literature. Next comics need to be more artistic to bring in readers by the look of the panels. Some other ideas are the creator's rights to gain control in the comic and relay the message with a bigger kick. And industry innovation is the money part of this idea. Comics cant be writers if they have no money. Public perception of comics also needs to be raised. Comic books are not very popular now a days. McCloud has always wanted higher learning or the higher educated to look at comics with an even opinion. And comics need to have an appeal to not just men but also women. Last comics need to attract all minorities and create a more diverse genre of comics.

McCloud will never quit until his mission is accomplished. I found a flaw in McClouds introduction. In the beginning he says he is not in the comics business for the money. But in his ideas to make comics better, he says that more money needs to be brought in from the sales. It was hard to believe that money was of no concern to McCloud.

Comics @ their Best and Worst Times

I am not going to lie, I was not super excited to read Introduction: The Twelve Revolutions because it was written by Scott McCloud. McCloud kind of bores me, but this reading was actually more interesting than I thought. At first McCloud talks about how he talks about how he, was not particularly interested in any one kind of comic. McCloud was interested in many different genres of comics. Because of all of those different genres, comics began to boost in sales and were coming to a high in their history. New and different types of artistry were coming about and McCloud says that “while others created more truly independent work which sought to reach beyond comics fandom and strike a chord in the real world outside.” The problem that McCloud and other artists didn't see was that even though comics were becoming popular they were hitting their peak and were going to fall back down very quickly. Comic book retailers were having to shut down their businesses and the people who were hard core fans of comic books were leaving the group, they were jumping off the band wagon and never returning.

Even though comics had fallen off the popularity ladder, McCloud and other artists believed that comics still had nine things in common. The nine things that they had in common were: 1) Comics as Literature meaning that comics could be considered great works of art and could be studied to “represent the life, times and world-view of its author.” 2) Comics as Art meaning that comics could be considered like those of the great sculptors and paintings that everybody knows about. 3) Creators’ Rights meaning that those artists could stake more of a claim to their works and could receive a little bit more money and control on their works. 4) Industry Innovation which says that the producer and the reader may be able to “reinvent” comics so that the reader will be able to enjoy them more. 5) Public Perception which means that the readers may be able to look ahead to see where comics may be able to go in the future. 6) Institutional Scrutiny which means that “institutions of higher learning” may be able to get over their pre-conceived notion of comics and make them equal to any other literature. 7) Gender Balance meaning that comics should be able to get the attention of women as much as it does men. 8) Minority Representation means that comics should be able to appear to more than just the “white upper-middle class males.” Last but not least 9) Diversity of Genre meaning that comics should be able to be more than just superhero fantasies and actually be something that has to do with everyday life or even history.

With these nine ideas comics started to make a comeback and were beginning to get their sales back. New artists came about by the beginning of the 90s and were really striking new ground. There was still a small problem, there were still only about two to three dominant styles that were being produced at any given moment. McCloud says that “to reach its [comics] full potential, both as an art form and as a market, comics must expand its territory, plunging into many areas at once and not losing sight of past gains as it chases present goals.” McCloud hopes that comics will come alive again and that comic retailers will be able to have a reason to sell comics to the public and that comics will hopefully have a boost in sales once again.

This reading is interesting because McCloud makes some good points and tells more of the comics sad tale. It actually makes me want to read more comics to get them back on the map. I have never really been a fan of comics and really had no true desire to get into them. But learning about the nine ideas that McCloud has and the ability that comics have to grow and expand to new levels really makes me interested in what they could become.

Poor ol' Comics

So I have a depressing story, I had written my entire blog and when I pushed submit the Internet capped out on me! I'm so mad! What I can remember from my blog is this. . .
In the Twelve Revolutions by Scott McCloud he takes about how much he love comics and how he wants them to succeed in our world today. But it's sad because comics are no longer the hot thing in the market. Comic stores have gone out of business and comic creators' can no longer make a living off of comics alone.
Comic creators came up this nine things that maybe can hopefully help comics succeed. They are: 1. Seeing comics as Literature. 2. Comics as an art. 3. Creators' rights. 4. Industries Innovation. 5. Public Perception. 6. Industrial Scrutiny. 7. Gender Balance. 8. Minority Representation. 9. Diversity of Genre. These nine things helped comics progress. And some progress showed in other areas as well. Such as Seriousness, depth, and formal complexities.
Comics have faced many threats many of which include. The threat of losing talented writers, and the loss of readers. Scott McCloud says "Fortunately the story of comics in America is one of constant innovation. Whatever the state of comics at the centuries end. I'm betting that the next generation wont rest until they've reinvented the medium and the industries from top to bottom." They did this by including comics in new papers and adding comics to political views.
He ends the chapter explaining that there are twelve revolutions of comics all including the computer. He talks about how these twelve revolutions will hopefully help comics expand outward.
I found this reading very intresting. I found it sad. I felt that comics went into the hole and they are strill struggling to climb out of that hole. I found myself wanting to contribute to the world of comics, so that maybe they could be successful again.

30 September 2009

Out with old & in with the new

In class today when I heard, “HOMEWORK! Read & blog about Scott McCloud’sanything after this point was nothing but incomprehensible sounds because my life pretty much came to a halt… see ya Friday,” my mind filled with hatred. I was pretty disappointed when I heard his name. I don’t have anything against McCloud personally, but I knew I had to read his tangents all over again and completely confuse myself while thinking McCloud is stupid. Meanwhile, it’s actually my fault I don’t understand him. Anyway, I nearly regretted opening the file to read the first chapter, Introduction: The Twelve Revolutions. Of course, though, I came around and managed to read, yet again, Scott McCloud’s theories.

This time, in McCloud’s second book “Reinventing Comics,” a completely different point is being made. Chapter one says comics are beginning to fade away. Due to preconception that comics are only about heroes and funny cartoons, McCloud suggests that comic artists and writers need to find a new medium where they can show off their original ideas. However, in order to do so, current and future generations need to step outside the norm and initiate innovative ideas in order to get comics out of the rut. Areas necessary for improvement are: comics as literature and art, creators’ rights, industry innovation, public perception, institutional scrutiny, gender balance, minority representation, and last, but not least, diversity of genre.

Symbolically, McCloud uses a picture of two eyes, one closed and the other open, to symbolize how comic creators and readers need to open both of their eyes. Not only did comics stop at a certain point in uncovering the roots, but no has tried to dig further, which is the problem according to McCloud. Comics need to broaden in order to fulfill its audience or else there isn’t a chance comics will have a status any longer. Thus, once comics is reinvented we will be seeing the whole picture, and both of our eyes will be open. It’s a matter of communication, new ideas and forms for comics to expand. Regardless of what position we’re in, we find a way to make our point and pass the status-quo as McCloud states (16). Cleverly said and presented, McCloud is clear that comics need a new future. Although, getting there is the problem, luckily McCloud is here to save us with his theories about a reconstruction of comics.

The twelve revolutions of Comics, ect. ect. and ect.

Reading The Twelve Revolutions by Scott McCloud was extremely dull to read. Similar to reading Understanding Comics with its style and way McCloud discusses about comics. The only thing was that The Twelve Revolutions went on about the types of "genres" that comics were striving for from 1984 to 1994 and the sudden decline there after. McCloud as great has he did in his Understanding Comics is now, to me, is just rambling on about comics and such which to me is great and all but I think the McCloud over did it in The Twelve Revolutions. The title even sounds to be like an epic tale of biblical proportions. In lamest terms hard to continue reading but overall very complex in its meaning